- Keith Thurman says he’s so confident of concussing 70-fight veteran Manny Pacquiao that he’s going to bet money on himself winning by knockout in the very first round.
- Pacquiao’s boxing coach Freddie Roach says Thurman’s KO comments are nothing but bluster, as he expects the Filipino to continue his recent form, beat Thurman, then challenge Floyd Mayweather to return to the ring for one more fight.
- Thurman and Pacquiao come to blows in a WBA welterweight world title bout in Las Vegas on Saturday.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Keith Thurman says he’s going to bet on himself beating Manny Pacquiao by knockout in the very first round of their Saturday night fight.
The Las Vegas showdown will be Thurman’s 30th professional battle and though he is undefeated so far, he is yet to experience an event as big as one coheadlined by Pacquiao, who has wins in an unprecedented nine weight classes in a run that dates back to 1995.
Pacquiao has only once been beaten by knockout in almost 20 years, when his Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez left him unconscious via a right hand to the mouth in 2012.
Pacquiao rebounded by beating Timothy Bradley, Lucas Matthysse, and, most recently, Adrien Broner, and now is days away from a WBA welterweight world title fight against Thurman.
But his American opponent has been talking up the chances of another haunting finish, telling Business Insider two months ago that he’ll end Pacquiao’s career, and adding this week that he’ll be placing bets on flooring the Filipino in the first, second, or seventh rounds this weekend.
According to Boxing Scene, Thurman said he’ll be placing bets on finishing the fight early but is yet to do so as he wants Pacquiao’s fans to inflate the odds.
"We were waiting because so many people are betting Pacquiao," Thurman said. "I went to the bank … we got the money ready, but we haven’t gotten the ticket yet. Because, you know, [the odds are] still gonna shift."
On the specifics of the bet, Thurman said: "We’re going for the overall victory and then we’re going for first-round knockout, second-round knockout and then, lucky-number-seven-round knockout."
Pacquiao’s coach Freddie Roach believes Thurman’s knockout claims are nothing but bluster, saying he expects his 40-year-old fighter to be the one to prevail by knockout, before challenging retired boxer Floyd Mayweather to return to the ring for one more fight against Manny.
"Manny Pacquiao is going to win by knockout in nine rounds and then he’s going to ask Mayweather for a rematch," Roach told ESPN Deportes.
Pacquiao fought Mayweather in 2015 but was outclassed in a 12-round bout. Roach has since said that the main reason for Pacquiao’s poor performance was because he was hampered by a shoulder injury.
"With a healthy Manny Pacquiao, no injuries, the story will be different, so let’s see if Floyd decides to come back when he sees Manny."
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